How big of a splash will Dudley make in UFA talent pool?

It’s been a busy week or so in Thrasherville. Big trade with Chicago…followed by Craig Ramsay being named new head coach…the NHL entry draft…RFA qualifying offers…then all the chatter throughout the week regarding UFAs and RFAs contracts.

Yup, very busy indeed. That, plus it’s been extremely hot and humid around these parts as well. So it’s the perfect time to have a pool party…the annual UFA “Talent Pool” party, that is.

That’s right, kids…today we make our yearly mid-summer trek to take a dip in the cool water of the NHL community talent pool. But for the first time in the Thrashers’ history, Don Waddell will not be the one looking to fish out UFAs from the pool…instead it’ll be new GM Rick Dudley.

The question is… just how big of a splash does he intends to make?

Here on the deck surrounding the pool, our good friend Five_Hole has once again agreed to DJ today’s extravaganza while the lovely Joyel from TJ’s Bar & Grill will be serving up drinks behind the bar. Also for those who might, shall we say, overindulge…Tony C. will be proving cab rides back home.

And the best part… it’s all on the AJC’s tab!!

Now…Dudley has indicated that he’d like to snag a 15-plus goal scorer this summer and there are a few to choose from today. But if he’s not able to pluck out such a player from the pool, he’s also said that a trade could be on the horizon to procure one.

But for me, the top priority is finding a #1 goalie for the upcoming season. Dudley has told us that he’s “comfortable” with having Johan Hedberg return…however, the veteran Swede netminder does not seem to be “comfortable” with the terms and conditions of the contract that was extended to him.

The one I would most like to see Dudley & Co. snag is Evgeni Nabokov, who was informed just last week that he will not be factoring into San Jose’s future plans. I’m sure he will be the prize target for those looking to upgrade between the pipes.

The All-Star is netminder is 293-178 with 29 ties and 37 OTLs. He owns a 2.39 GAA, .912 SV% and has posted 50 shutouts in his 563 total regular season games played…all with the Sharks. In the playoffs he is 40-39 with a 2.29 GAA, .914 SV% and 7 SO during San Jose’s nine playoff appearances since 2000.

Nabokov is coming off a four-year deal that paid approximately $21.5 million.

What type of splash will Rick Dudley make in the UFA talent pool?

  • Cannon Ball - Big splash with huge signing or two (26%, 22 Votes)
  • Like Platform Diving - Dives in but no big splash (53%, 46 Votes)
  • Belly Flop - Not pretty and it'll hurt just to watch (21%, 18 Votes)

Total Voters: 86

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Around the rest of the NHL, Ilya Kovalchuk looks to be the big free agent fish in this year’s UFA talent pool. Joining the long list of superstars who have done so in the past, the Russian winger departed Atlanta last winter for New Jersey but now gets to select where he’s heading next. Could it be the L.A. Kings, Toronto, another NHL team…or even back home to play in the KHL? 

Keep in mind he turned aside an offer by Don Waddell last winter that would have paid him $10 million as season for three, five or seven years. He also said “nyet” to a 12-year deal that was worth $101 mil. It’ll be curious to see what he gets elsewhere.

Oh, and for those of you who still clutch to the hope that Kovy might return here…don’t hold your breath. Well, unless you’re swimming underwater, that is. Sure I’m trained in First Aid and CPR, but I really don’t want to be bother with such things today.

I thank you in advance for your understanding.

One last note before we crash the pool and join in the fun… I will once again warn each and every one of you that a repeat the infamous “Baby Ruth Bar Incident of 2008” will not be tolerated!

Yes, I’m looking at you, Smoothie…

It takes a lot of time and expense to drain, clean, disinfect and re-fill these things, ya know.

UFA Signing Updates

UPDATE 4:55 pm: Thrasher trade Evgeni Vishovskiy and 2nd round draft pick to Chicago for forward Andrew Ladd.

UPDATE 4:40 pm: Thrashers sign goalie Chris Mason…2-year deal paying $1.6 million this year and $2.1 million next year.

UPDATE 1:36 pm: Thrasher killer Antero Niittymaki is now a San Jose Shark.

UPDATE 1:34 pm: Colby Armstrong is now a Toronto Maple Leaf. 3 years, $9-million.

UPDATE 9:01 am: Kevin Allen of USA Today Sports reports via twitter, “Thrashers making another run at G Johan Hedberg this morning, and they will shop for a forward (and maybe a goalie) later today”

617 comments Add your comment

Badger Bob

July 1st, 2010
3:10 pm

Now THIS is Sparta!! (400)

Jack

July 1st, 2010
3:11 pm

Totally agree, well I lied. Joe is not nearly worth the max and after his spat about the fans, we shouldn’t have him back.

fes

July 1st, 2010
3:12 pm

Just say no Joe!

Smoothie

July 1st, 2010
3:12 pm

How about a fluster cluck!?

five_hole

July 1st, 2010
3:15 pm

Ray Whitney Phx. 2 yrs; $3M per.

Badger Bob

July 1st, 2010
3:15 pm

Whitney to PHX, 2 yr at $3M per

Jack

July 1st, 2010
3:16 pm

SO long Whitney

Badger Bob

July 1st, 2010
3:17 pm

five_hole and I are not the same person with split personalities

Smoothie

July 1st, 2010
3:17 pm

I think ASG may be too late to the party…on purpose. Joe Johnson will got to Miami to play with D-Wade.

Whitney to PHX? Guess he wants to transition easily to golf retirement.

Kubina getting overtures from NYI and Sabres. I could see him going to play with Myers…uh oh!

Rawhide

July 1st, 2010
3:18 pm

It seems as though Kovalchuk will be taking his time sifting through multiple offers.

five_hole

July 1st, 2010
3:19 pm

Nope. I’m the good looking one ;-)

Tom

July 1st, 2010
3:22 pm

According to NHLSourcesSay on Twitter Pavel Kubina has 2 offers on the table at this time, Islanders and Sabres.

Joe Friday

July 1st, 2010
3:22 pm

“Ellis for $1.5M? That sounds like backup money.”

that’s because that’s all he his, a backup. It’s great news for us, Tampa stays weak in goal. Now we need to improve in that position and get a leg up on them.

“It seems as though Kovalchuk will be taking his time sifting through multiple offers.”

I’m telling you guys, he is going to the bank today . . .

Jack

July 1st, 2010
3:23 pm

that sucks on kubins news

BG33Brown

July 1st, 2010
3:23 pm

This puckdaddy “chatter box” is the best thing ever! It condenses all the relevant twitter feeds so i’m not chasing my tail.

Joe Friday

July 1st, 2010
3:23 pm

Red Light, whatcha think about that Boogard contract?!?

Red Light

July 1st, 2010
3:26 pm

Believe Dudley and other GMs would rather go the trade route rather than dip their pens in the free agent ink. There are still several nice free agent pieces out there, but at what price?

Market is set for Kubina to get the type of money he wants after $9 million to Lydman, $20 million for Mchalek, $25 million for Martin and $16.5 for Gonchar. Think he’ll wait for Hamhuis deal then decide.

TableHockey

July 1st, 2010
3:26 pm

Do you guys think that Mannino is ready to be Pavs back up if we tank in the goalie FA?

Rawhide

July 1st, 2010
3:27 pm

No disrespect to either…but if we see a Mannino/Pavelec tandem in goal, we are screwed.

Jack

July 1st, 2010
3:27 pm

Badger Bob

July 1st, 2010
3:29 pm

Amen – get Moose or Nabby, now or tomorrow

Joe Friday

July 1st, 2010
3:30 pm

Kubina being pushed out makes sense if you think about money management that they suffer under from the OctoFlufferSpritSquad:
1)they brought in Sopel so that fills his spot
2)They use that money saved and room left to sign Nabokov and Frolov or make a trade for a Tim Thomas and a forward

Badger Bob

July 1st, 2010
3:31 pm

Since we’re apparently going youth movement (Cormier, Machacek, Burmistrov, Petterson all with shots at making the team according to Duds), we better be solid in net…

Smoothie

July 1st, 2010
3:35 pm

Nabs or Turco might just wind up falling right into our laps depending on what happens in the next several hours. Mason is the wildcard. Will Philly pull the trigger on him and then look to deal Hartnell? Carter?

Will Turco be satisfied mentoring a younger goalie? He may have no choice as the market is over-saturated. Might St. Louis, having intimate knowledge of Turco’s abilities take a chance on him rather than pay Mason market value?

Who is Nabakov’s agent? Anyone know?

Russ

July 1st, 2010
3:36 pm

If Kubina signs elsewhere our blueline, which was looking like a strength, becomes a weakness again IMO.

fes

July 1st, 2010
3:37 pm

nabby’s agent is don meehan

Red Light's RN

July 1st, 2010
3:37 pm

Concerning Boogaard!

Hoping cold compresses and a fresh pot of Sanka will pacify my patient. Last seen weeping over You Tube videos of Colton Orr flattening Todd Fedoruk. Muttering “I miss you Colton” in barely audible whispers between uncontrollable sobbing. Sticking pins in Sather doll as we speak. I’ll file another report soon.

hip czech

July 1st, 2010
3:37 pm

Turco/Nabakov/Mason/Theodore/Moose….still plenty of goalies out there

Jack

July 1st, 2010
3:39 pm

Smoothie

July 1st, 2010
3:42 pm

Great, in order to sign Nabakov, Meehan will require that we take Mad Max as well. Might not be a bad package deal. Honestly, I’d be a lot happier with Kubina and Mason.

Badger Bob

July 1st, 2010
3:42 pm

RL: My sympathies, friend. As you suffer with Sather, I suffer with Sutter. They both make Waddell look good.

R. Stroz

July 1st, 2010
3:43 pm

A reminder: the Thrashers have NEVER signed a top tier UFA.

Smoothie

July 1st, 2010
3:43 pm

I would imagine though that Mason has a standing offer from St Louis? No? Thought they offered him 3 years for $3.25 M or something. I’ll have to check out Andy Strickland’s twitter.

glovesave29

July 1st, 2010
3:45 pm

Why would StL have that with Mason with Halak on the payroll?

Smoothie

July 1st, 2010
3:45 pm

Ha! Speak o’ the devil…Andy just tweeted: Things are heating up with Chris Mason…stay tuned.

Indeed, Mace realizes his fate. Better for us and making a bargain deal for Nabakov. Somebody wake me from this languorous dream!

glovesave29

July 1st, 2010
3:46 pm

File under WTF – Jokinen is going back to Calgary. First Tanguay…what in THE hell is going on up there?

Smoothie

July 1st, 2010
3:46 pm

TRADE BAIT??

Forgot about Halak believe it or not…duh? But I’m pretty sure they offered Mason something decent before trading w/ MTL.

Smoothie

July 1st, 2010
3:48 pm

Sutter can have ‘em…they are gonna burn him in effigy up there in Cow-town for these moves. Watch him keep Dawes and send him down to Abbotsford so Colin Stuart can get a new deal.

TableHockey

July 1st, 2010
3:48 pm

Sometimes it’s tough being a Thrashers fan but if I was a Calgary fan I would be out of my head – first Tanquay and now Jokinen. It’s like a bad hockey version of Ground Hog Day!

Jack

July 1st, 2010
3:48 pm

Sounds like a sign and trade for the Flames?

glovesave29

July 1st, 2010
3:51 pm

Jack – the rumor is 2 years @ $3.5M per…not sure anyone would want that in trade!

glovesave29

July 1st, 2010
3:55 pm

Talinder to NJ – 4 years @ $3.375M per

Smoothie

July 1st, 2010
3:57 pm

Kubina may find out that no one is willing to give him a 4 year deal. Isn’t Tallinder a year younger? But still, I could see Buff or NYI desperate enough to do it. Hey Regier, Andy Sutton is available!!

Jack

July 1st, 2010
3:57 pm

Still scratching head. Why Calgary Why??????

glovesave29

July 1st, 2010
3:58 pm

Jeez…Kurtis Foster got $1.8M per from EDM for 2 years. That’s a bit pricey

Smoothie

July 1st, 2010
3:58 pm

Bananas Foster goes to EDM! Good for him.

Red Light's RN

July 1st, 2010
3:59 pm

Kubina’s value continues to take no hits with another defensemen signing for four years at decent money. Regier lets both Tallinder and Lydman walk and they both get multi-year deals, one for $775k more and one for $150k less. What do you make of that World Be Free? I say good riddance for $6.375 million for the pair!

Smoothie

July 1st, 2010
3:59 pm

Peace out Souray…your slapshot has been replaced. It will be interesting to see which GM is left holding the Souray bag, so to speak.

Smoothie

July 1st, 2010
4:01 pm

R/L – if so, why hasn’t he signed yet? I would think Buffalo is offering him at least 3 years to replace Tallinder. Holding out hope Dudley will come calling? Don’t hold your breath Pasha.

Red Light

July 1st, 2010
4:02 pm

Give the nurse one post and she thinks she knows hockey!